Trends come and trends go, but the silhouettes and styles that look good on you and make you feel confident may be less transient. Knowing what you like is the first step in figuring out your personal style. Knowing what your style is will help you create some guidelines to base purchases on and provide rules for cleaning out your closet. If it doesn’t fit your personal style, you probably won’t wear it.
“Whew,” you say, “Knowing what I like – at least that’s easy.” And, you’re right, sort of. If you listed off three styles you love right now, you might say ankle pants, tribal prints, and khaki. Do they really deserve a spot on your list, or are they there because the fashion magazines and Kohl’s ads suggested them? Advertisers and marketing teams make the big bucks to sell you the styles that are “in,” not to show you how to choose the pieces that flatter you and fit your personality. That’s why you have The Mommy Stylist.
Create a style board
To find the styles you like, I recommend creating a style board- a collection of fashion images that inspire you. A good style board makes finding your personal look and putting outfits together quick and easy, an excellent bonus for moms.
There are two easy methods:
- Gather magazines, sales ads, photos of yourself or pieces from your closet. Quickly go through them all and pull the images that call to you- there is a reason you like them.
- Go digital and make a Pinterest board to represent your style. Pin images from The Mommy Stylist Pinterest boards, retailer websites, Google searches, and style bloggers.
Once you have a good selection, narrow it down to 10 to 15 representative images. Next, try putting those images next to each other. I like to create a collage. The image above is my personal style board created in Microsoft PowerPoint. Good old scissors and glue work equally well.
Analyze your style board
Let’s experiment with my style board above. What conclusions can you draw from it about what style I might like?
Some answers might include:
What style pieces do I like?
Outerwear- jackets, vests, sweaters
As a whole, this is pretty characteristic of my wardrobe. I have a couple pairs of boyfriend jeans, which I cuff to the ankle. I have a selection of blazers, jackets, sweaters, vests – too many maybe, but most of them have a steady rotation. I rarely leave the house without a necklace and at least one bangle or cuff. I’d like to go through my jewelry box (someday) and experiment with ways to layer the bangles and necklaces in an aesthetic way.
Edgy tomboy chic is my go-to style. It expresses a bit of my personality while allowing me the comfort and flexibility necessary to enjoy rolling down hills with my children. A typical outfit for me is cuffed boyfriend jeans, t-shirt tucked near the font belt loop, blazer or moto jacket, large coral bead necklace, bangles and my Lyke watch with the token hairband, and flats or wedges. For the office? Switch the boyfriend jeans for cropped Calvin Klein legging work trousers (best invention ever, here’s a similar pair that is pricey but you should be able to find the style for a lower price elsewhere).
It’s that easy.
The next step
Now that you have a clear idea of what cuts and fashions fit into your life, you can go so many places with that knowledge.
Clear out your wardrobe: Anything that doesn’t fit the outline you just created and/or you haven’t worn in a while needs to be given away or donated to simplify dressing in the morning and create room for pieces that you will wear.
Shopping guidelines: Does it meet my criteria? Can I picture wearing it three ways with the existing contents of my wardrobe? Do I like it and will I wear it? Do I really need another pair of boyfriend jeans?
Create a personal look book: You know what you like and you’ve identified the pieces in your current wardrobe that match that ideal, now all you need are practical outfit ideas. If you’ve collected your images for creating the style board on a Pinterest board, then you already have an excellent start. An excellent start that you can access from anywhere.
The most important part of this whole process is to have fun while doing it!
Watch for the upcoming post- Stylist’s Secret: Evolve Your Style Board Into A Lookbook– to learn how to translate your style board inspiration into go-to outfits.